PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — If you love the smooth sounds of jazz, news that Pittsburgh will host its first large-scale jazz festival in over a decade this weekend will be music to your ears! JazzLive International kicks off this Friday with a special jazz crawl featuring 20 different live performances throughout the Cultural District downtown. The weekend-long celebration of jazz also includes the “Summer Stages” program on Saturday with a full day of entertainment on three outdoor stages. Sunday will see a day-long market showcasing the works of African and African-American artists and designers, accompanied by live jazz music as well as a jazz brunch and an evening concert. We have the details so you don’t miss a beat!
Pittsburgh JazzLive International
When: Friday, June 3, 2011 through Sunday, June 5, 2011
Location: Various locations throughout the Cultural District, downtown Pittsburgh
Cost: Most events are free
Friday: JazzLive Crawl, 5:30pm–9pm:
Kick off the weekend right with a JazzLive Crawl! Over 20 different downtown venues — from bars and restaurants to galleries, museums and a public plaza — will host live jazz musical performances featuring more than 150 musicians from 5:30pm until 9pm. Youth jazz bands, experimental jazz, avant-garde jazz, Latin jazz, jazz vocals, acoustic soul, blues, experimental mixes of jazz and hiphop, and electric guitar jazz/funk will all be on offer somewhere during the crawl, so you’re sure to find a spot on the crawl to hit the right note with you! After the crawl, Roger Humphries will lead a jam session at Sonoma Grille.
Some of the participating bars and restaurants include:
Backstage Bar, 655 Penn Ave.; featuring Sean Ashby
Bar on Nine, 136 Sixth St.
Bossa Nova, 123 7th St.; featuring Puro Queso
Caffé Amante, 120 Fifth Ave. (Fifth Avenue Place, 2nd level); featuring Maureen Budway
Crazy Mocha Coffeehouse, 801 Liberty Ave.; featuring Joy Ike
Grille on Seventh, 130 Seventh St.; featuring Chico’s Quintet
Mélange, 136 6th St.; featuring Max Leake Quartet
Nola on the Square, 24 Market Square; featuring John Gresh
Olive Or Twist, 142 6th. St., 3rd floor; featuring Kevin Howard
Original FIsh Market Restaurant, Westin William Penn Convention Center Hotel; featuring Gerald Haymon Quartet
Seviche, 810 Penn Ave., Ste. 200; featuring George Jones’ New View Trio
Sharp Edge, 922 Penn Ave.; featuring Eric Johnson
Sonoma Grill, Courtyard Marriott, 947 Penn Ave.; featuring Ernie Krivada Quartet
Tonic Bar and Grille, 971 Liberty Ave.; featuring James Moore Quartet
Some of the participating galleries include
707 Penn Gallery, 707 Penn Ave.
937 Liberty Ave, 937 Liberty Ave., 2nd floor gallery
August Wilson Center for African American Culture Gallery, 980 Liberty Ave.
CAPA Gallery, 111 Ninth St.
SPACE, Liberty Ave.
Toonseum, 945 Liberty Ave.
Trust Arts Education Center, 805/807 LIberty Ave.
for the complete schedule of performances.
Saturday: JazzLive Summer Stages, 12:30 pm–7:30 pm:
The music continues on Saturday afternoon with “JazzLive Summer Stages” when about a dozen national and international acts will perform. The free concerts will take place on three large outdoor stages: a Penn Ave. stage near Seviche, Sharp Edge, and Sonoma Grille; at a Liberty Ave. stage near the August Wilson Center; and at a stage at 9th and Liberty Ave. Performers will include Gregory Porter, Chelsea Baratz, Gretchen Parlato, the Sean Jones Quintet, Roger Humphries, Bobby Sanabria, and others. Sean Jones will cap off the evening’s festivities with a big jam session at Sonoma Grille.
Sunday: Showcase Noir, Jazz Brunch & Bettye LaVette Concert
The final day of the festival will include the Showcase Noir art show which highlights the works of African American artists and designers from the area and beyond. Showcase Noir will feature paintings, photographs, sculptures, jewelry, and other art from noon until 8 pm at the Byham Theater. This free exhibition will be enhanced by live jazz music performed by Alton Merrell Band and SJ SMI. From 11 am until 2 pm, Sonoma Grille will host a JazzLive Sunday Brunch, featuring the Eric Suesoff Trio. Later on Sunday evening, Altar Bar, 1620 Penn Ave., presents Bettye LaVette in concert. Tickets are $20 in advance; doors open at 7 pm, and the show begins at 8 pm. For full schedule information and the complete list of performers, please see the website. For further information on street closures, parking, and public transit routes, see
As the official website states, JazzLive International was created through “a commitment to showcase, promote, and nurture jazz musicians, and the incredible rich legacy that has made Pittsburgh known worldwide” as a center for jazz music. Based on the impressive schedule they’ve put together, they will surely have succeeded!